Stoke City’s new superstar?

Jese Rodriguez is a two-time UEFA Champions League winner, and a La Liga winner. Now he has signed for the 13th best team in England, Stoke City on a one-year loan deal. But how did the former Real Madrid, and Paris St-Germain forward get to this point in his career? 

Remember that La Liga victory we spoke about? Well he only played two matches in the 2011-12 season, with then manager Jose Mourinho stating the jump from reserves to the senior side was too difficult due to the difference in styles to the side, and to be fair, Jese was competing with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria, and a young Alvaro Morata.

It wasn’t until the 2013-14 season when he was given a chance in the side and managed to score five goals and assist four in 18 matches. He also created 13 chances, had 21 shots on goal, nine successful take-ons, and 222 passes. The Spaniard was named the 10th most promising player in Europe by the Daily Mirror but suffered a torn ACL towards the end of the season, keeping him on the sidelines for nine months.

Jese remained very optimistic about the injury saying “maybe I had the injury because I needed to learn and become a more mature footballer”, but he struggled for form in the 2014-15 season making only 16 appearances. In those matches he scored three goals, set up two and created 10 chances. He also made 168 passes, but only had seven shots and five successful take-ons.

He had a more productive 2015-16 season, he made 28 appearances that season but most of those were off the bench. He still managed to score five goals and set up six. He created 23 chances for his teammates, had 10 take-ons, 19 shots, and made 283 passes. But that’d be the end for Jese Rodriguez at Real Madrid signing a five-year deal worth $37 million with Paris St-Germain (which included an “Anti-Barcelona” clause to prevent him signing to Barcelona in the future).

Unfortunately the move to the city of love didn’t improve Jese’s form. He struggled for game time and form, making only nine appearances, finding the net once, creating four chances, had five shots on goal, one take-on and 76 passes. In the January transfer window, PSG boss Unai Emery sent him on loan to La Liga side Las Palmas to rediscover his form.

That kinda worked. He made 16 appearances for his hometown club, created 15 chances, had 32 take-ons, and made 286 passes. But he only scored three goals from 23 shots, and one assist. Las Palmas had the option to sign the forward but turned it down, apparently due to his high salary demands, and poor off-field behaviour… and poor form.

And to further prove Emery thinks highly of the 24-year-old, he sent him on loan for the second time in the 12 months he has been at the club, this time to Premier League outfit Stoke City where he finds himself now.

The Potters went down 1-0 to Everton in Week 1 but are packed to the rafters with Champions League winners. Jese is the fifth winner to join the club alongside Ibrahim Afellay, Bojan (Barcelona), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), and Darren Fletcher (Manchester United).

So will a move to England revitalise Jese’s form or will he fall further down football totem’s pole?

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